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Article written by Sam Machado

When it comes to relationships, first thing’s first- you are not obligated to stay in them.

Why Do We Stay?

Relationships can be fun. They can be incredible. But they can be sticky, and they can also become unbelievably toxic. They can be so toxic that you have lost your grip on reality. And one of the reasons why you might stay in this relationship is because you think he’ll change. Or you need to “understand” him better. Or the memories are weighing you down. Or you feel like you “owe” him something- when in actuality, you don’t owe anyone a goddamn thing. And you shouldn’t encourage yourself to stay in a relationship if it’s no longer working for you.

It’s YOUR Decision- No One Else’s

Another reason why people stay in unhealthy relationships is because of social pressure. Family and friends encourage you to “work it out,” or in their perspective, you two are the “perfect couple.” Sometimes we feel like we owe our loved ones something because they want us to have a happy ending. Well, honestly, if they really want you to have a happy ending, then your loved ones will support your decision to leave if that’s what will make you happy rather than encourage you to stay in a relationship that you don’t want to be in. This is not anyone else’s decision to make. You are the one in this relationship and you are in charge of your own decisions. Do not let others shame you because you feel like you did what you had to do to live a happy life.

Just to make this loud and clear- you are allowed to leave.
If you had a one-night stand with him- you are allowed to leave.
If you’ve been on two dates together- you are allowed to leave.
If you’ve been casually dating for three months- you are allowed to leave.
If you’ve been in a serious relationship with him for the past five years- you are allowed to leave.

If you’re married and have been living together for the past 30 years- you are allowed to leave.

Here’s the thing- leaving isn’t the “only” option. But it is certainly one of your options. Yes, hearts will get broken and there may be other circumstances involved. But that doesn’t mean you need to continue a life that will slowly spiral downward.

You can leave him if you are no longer happy. You can leave him if this isn’t working for you anymore. Leaving him does not make you a bad person. It might feel like it does, but it doesn’t. Even if the guy is nice, you are not obligated to stay. If you have wonderful memories, you do not need to stay. Relationships aren’t just about falling in love- they’re about getting to know each other better to see if you are truly compatible. And sometimes a guy can look great on paper- you might have everything in common with him, he wants the same things you want in life and you have matching personalities. But sometimes the feelings just aren’t there. And that does not make you a bad person. It’s just the way it is.

Remember that it’s not a battle. If your ex is upset, that’s normal. But don’t put yourself on a “good guy, bad guy” scale. You can sympathize for your ex while also feeling grateful to yourself.

So if you feel like the best decision is to leave, then leave. Just do it. Wish him the best, delete his number and live a happy life. Life is too short to stay trapped in a bad relationship.

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